Nobody does real talk like Reggie Ossé a.k.a. Combat Jack. The former rap industry attorney, media executive, author, and Internet radio talk-show personality now hosts The Combat Jack Show, where hip-hop's biggest names are put on the front line. The questions will be tough—and shots will be fired. Co-hosted by Dallas Penn, Premium Pete, and Just Blaze, The Combat Jack Show appears every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday on Complex TV.
In the final installment of our three part interview with DJ Premier on The Combat Jack Show, Premier reflects on the standards of the rap game during the golden era. "Everybody just had to be that lyrical just to even be accepted in the clubs we went to." Premo continues, explaining that the "bouncer test" was a great way to gauge a certain level of success and respect. "Even if it's a party that was hard to get into where they don't want hip-hoppers in there, the bouncers would tell them, 'Yo, he's official.'"
DJ Premier parallels this to today's scene, where he notices a greater divide between rhymes and style, which sometimes catches him by surprise. "There's certain things some artists say that make you go, 'Damn.'" While the producer states he's a huge fan of true lyricists, he says every record has its place. "Don't get me wrong, when I'm in the club and certain records that come on that's more just about partying and tearing the club up, and trap music and all that, I love it."
Combat Jack inquires about artists Premier would be interested in working with, and he offers up the name of a notable Toronto MC. "Definitely Drake, which I say all the time. I get comments like, 'I can't believe you.' Yo, he's dope. He can rhyme, he makes good records." Premo also praises 2 Chainz, who he's had a close bond with ever since fellow Atlanta rapper Ludacris signed with Def Jam in 2000. "I know some people are like, 'Aww man, his lyrics ain't on the level of what's out there.' The dude actually can rhyme."
The conversation ends with Premier discussing his contributions to the BET Hip-Hop Awards cypher series. He touches on some of his favorite participants, and recounts the moment he found out pop star Justin Bieber wanted to join in on the festivities. "I got an email saying, 'What do you think about Justin Bieber?' I was like, as long as he spits a dope verse, I don't care." However, after finding out Bieber was going to have someone else pen the verse, he had to put his foot down. "If he don't write it, then he shouldn't be on there," Premier said.
Check out the previous two installments of the DJ Premier interview below:
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